This 2021, I've been diving deep on LinkedIn. I think there's so much opportunity on this platform. I dove into it several years back, spent a lot of time on it, put some great relationships and interactions and then my decision went elsewhere. But I'm back in on LinkedIn on a daily basis and I'm seeing some consistent trends that aren't good. And I think that you can learn from them if you're interested in Crushing LinkedIn in 2021.
In this episode, we're talking about LinkedIn. LinkedIn is a platform that I really enjoy using. I love the functionality, the professional interactions and engagement like Linkedin Live. And I’m seeing some consistent trends of how people are using it that honestly really hurt the platform and make me not want to be there and others not want to be there and are really wasting your time. If you're doing these things, you're not getting the most out of LinkedIn’s platform.
So let's talk about those things.
The first thing that I see is spam DMs. So spam direct messages right into the box, just adding a contact and then immediately when they accept that request, sending them a bunch of messages.
I just want 15 minutes of your time. It's annoying. It's obnoxious. The truth is, if it probably works, if you continue to do it and people continue to do it, I can't imagine you're really getting good leads that are leading to meaningful business. Spamming is just not a good idea. Just cold messaging rarely works. And so you kind of stop. Use it more authentically. Use it in a more relational way, but just stop blowing up the inbox because then people will stop checking the inbox and it will become less valuable. And we need a good engagement there, a personalized engagement, not automated engagement in the DMs.
The second mistake that I see people making very consistently on LinkedIn is people using their company logos rather than their headshot.
People want to connect to people professionally and personally, and that's just a natural way that social media happens as it's social, it's person to person. And there's an organizational function on LinkedIn. And I think there's a professional connection, but people want to connect to you, the person, not necessarily your organization. And there are pages for your organization to function as an organization, but your personal profile needs to be you. And people are much more likely to engage with you if they see your face. And so just being thoughtful, get a good headshot and put that in that profile picture is going to increase your engagement significantly.
So if you've got a company logo or any other type of image as your profile image, change that. And I would say even if you have like a full-body photo, it's hard to see that little image. Use a headshot, get a close-in on your face. People connect face to face on social networks in general, and LinkedIn is no different than the others in that way.
The third mistake is a mistake I see across all social networks and it really hurts me on LinkedIn is using LinkedIn as a bullhorn. I see so many salespeople want to get on there and just start selling. And at the end of the day, people that respond to a good sales pitch are friends. They’re people that know you. They’re people that trust you. And so as you get on there, build relationships, establish trust and let people know that you care.
And when people know that you care, they're going to listen to what you're selling if it really is valuable. But if they don't trust you, they're going to blow you off. And if you have no trust and nobody's listening, then you're wasting your time on LinkedIn. I think it's a great place to start. But selling a relational way doesn't sell just with a megaphone, getting on to other people's comment threads and trying to get your link out there. Use it as a relational tool to build relationships, to accomplish your goals. And so stop using it as a bullhorn to get your message out in an annoying and obnoxious way. You must learn How to Maximize LinkedIn Beyond the Job Hunt.
And the last thing that I want to suggest when it comes to LinkedIn is having an incomplete profile. Take the time to really fill out that About section, fill out that kind of resume-like section that shows your experience and include experience of volunteer experience or if you're on the board of a nonprofit organization, lots of different things that you've done include those so that people can know who you are, what you've experienced, and maybe some unique things about you through your profile.
Make sure you've got your education in there and that opportunity people can find out like, oh, you were a marketing major, but now you're in finance. There are some unique things that can be found through people's profiles. One of the first things that happen when you connect with people or reconnect with somebody professionally is you look through their profile and see, do I have some connections that maybe they know my friend who went to the same college. Whatever that might be, having a complete profile is going to enhance your relationship significantly on the dim. And it doesn't take that much time.
Now, it isn't just your resume. Now people use it like a resume. And there are functions similar to a professional resume. But it's a way to just really share your education and professional experience and volunteer experience, oftentimes with the LinkedIn community. And you never know what connections are going to come out of that. This can even be considered as one of the LinkedIn Growth Hacks. The more thorough your profile is, the more likely others are to engage with you.
So those are my four tips when it comes to LinkedIn. The list could actually be much longer, but I would love to know what other things do you see? What things do people need to stop doing on LinkedIn to make it a better, healthier, more functioning community so that we can all use it as this professional social network to connect, to grow, to excel, to interact with others on a professional level.
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